You aren't likely to see this phrase in the next leadership manual or how-to book on achieving your next promotion. We are taught early on to climb the ladder of success... to make things happen for ourselves. We hear quotes like "If it is to be it is up to me" or "plan your work and work your plan," or my favorite, "Greatness is achieved through discipline and hard work." While some of these sayings have some truth to them it continues to enforce the rhetoric which says two things: 1.) I must make things happen for myself,
and 2.) I can't fully trust God to do what is truly best for me in my life.
Now... you overachievers that are getting ready to come out of your skin and declare "But God wants us to do our part... I'm just doing my part!" Slow down... I'm talking about the times when we strive, struggle, force situations in our lives, push our own agendas, or white knuckle a situation in the name of Jesus but we've clearly left Him in the dust or not considered Him at all.
Enter in Zaccheus. We know from vacation bible songs that Zaccheus was a wee little man and considering people were shorter in ancient times than today... I'm guessing Zaccheus was somewhere around 4 foot short. From the outside Zaccheus would have looked impressive. He was a tax collector in Jericho where trade was booming because of balsam. With revenues high, tax collectors -or independent operators- often took more and kept more than they should have. While it provided them a nice lifestyle, tax collectors were often disliked in their communities.
Luke 19 shares the story of Jesus passing through Jericho and in an effort to see Jesus, Zaccheus climbs a Sycamore tree. Verse 4 "So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way."
Zaccheus ran ahead and climbed. Have you ever ran ahead and began to climb while you were 'waiting on the Lord'? Have you wanted to get a jump start on how Jesus was working out your situation? You know... giving Jesus a little help?
But just a couple of verses later we see Jesus offering mercy and grace to Zaccheus. Verse 9 "Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.'"
Oh son or daughter... don't get caught up in thinking that you know what is best for you and your life, that God doesn't see you, or that you can't fully trust Him with every intimate detail of your life. It is time to start cutting some trees down and stop climbing! We don't need to run ahead... we need to trust Him!